is light pollution really a thing? is it something I should be concerned about?



  1. 0 Votes

    Light pollution refers to city lights at night dimming the natural view of the night sky. It can also be harmful in that it confuses wildlife.  Recently it’s been proposed that it’s a health threat to humans because it disrupts our bodies’ natural circadian rhythms. 

  2. 0 Votes

    Light pollution has been defined by the International Astronomical Union as “artificial sky brightness is greater than 10% of the natural sky brightness above 45° of elevation.”  While the disruptive effects of light pollution by artificial lights on wildlife and plants has been well-studied, research on the human health effects is less complete.  There have been studies showing the disruptive effects of artificial indoor light on human subjects, particularly on their circadian rhythms.  However, there have been few studies on the effects of the outdoor light pollution on human health.  In 2006, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) organized a meeting to promote discussion and research around this issue.

  3. 0 Votes

    Anyone who has been out in the wilderness on an overnight trip can attest that light pollution is indeed a real thing—the amazing sight of millions of stars overhead is proof that in the city, urban light blocks this gorgeous vision out.  In addition to hiding the stars, light pollution can have a significant impact on wildlife, especially the many species that use light like a magnet.  Scientists have observed birds being drawn in by searchlights, circling the light until they are so exhausted they die.  Light pollution can interfere with migration and reproduction patterns in many birds, and can be disastrous for turtle hatchlings that, in days before humans came along, would follow the moonlight reflected off the ocean to find their way to the sea and safety from predators, but now head in the opposite direction toward lights on oceanside homes and are eaten, run over, or die having never made it to the sea.  Humans are impacted too, artificially extending work hours and altering our response to light.

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